October, 2020


Timeline – important points in computer history

Timeline – important points in computer history

The history of computers and the internet has some important points worth remembering. In the following we will go through a more detailed analysis:

  • 1614 – John Napier invents Napier’s Bones computing machine, a manual calculation device for calculating number quotas.
  • 1624 – Wilhelm Schickard constructs the first mechanical computer, which used techniques such as toothed wheels. This computer was called a “computer clock” because the wheels used were originally developed for watches.
  • 1642 – Blaise Pascal creates the barometer, the first automatic computing machine, built to help his father in calculating taxes. The machine was doing assemblies and subtractions using wheels numbered from zero to nine.
  • 1679 – Gottfried Leibniz perfects the binary system, thus laying the foundations for computing machines.
  • 1692 – Philosopher and mathematician Gottfried von Leibniz carried on Pascal’s invention through a more advanced computing machine, which could perform multiplications through repeated assembly.
  • 1725 – Basile Bouchon used a perforated paper loop in a weaving war to reproduce a template on a fabric.
  • 1726 – Jean-Baptiste Falcon, Basile Bouchon’s collaborator, came up with improvements by creating the semi-automatic weaving war, which used perforated paper cards caught together.
  • 1751 – Ben Franklin conducts his famous experiment with a kite proving the connection between lightning and small electric sparks.
  • 1801 – Joseph-Marie Jaquard invents the first semi-automatic weaving war using the concept of punching cards to weave complex patterns into canvas. This invention becomes the foundation of a programmable machine.
  • 1831 – Michael Faraday creates electric dynamite and manages to obtain electricity in a continuous and practical way, an invention that will be used for information technology in the contemporary era.
  • 1833 – Charles Babbage designs Analytical Engine, a general-purpose mechanical computer. The idea was too complex for the time because parts could not be made with such precision, so the project was abandoned.
  • 1854 – George Boole publishes the article An Investigation into the Laws of Thought, which lays the foundations of Boolean algebra and develops a new kind of logic, mathematical logic.
  • 1867 – Charles Sanders Peirce introduces Boolean algebra in the United States. In addition, Peirce defined concepts such as: inductive reasoning, mathematical induction and logical inference. He noted that logical operations can be performed through electrical switching circuits idea used decades later to produce digital computers.
  • 1878 – Thomas Edison and Joseph Swan manage to invent the incandescent filament bulb.
  • 1882 – The first power generation station was opened on Pearl Street in Lower Manhattan, New York.
  • 1890 – Herman Hollerith builds the mechanical tab with perforated cards for the American census, arising from a crisis that by 1880 the population of the United States had grown so large that it took more than seven years to calculate the results of the census.
  • 1924 – Hollerith’s company joins with others to create the IBM corporation, which would later be the world market leader from 1950 to 1980.
  • 1936 – Allan Turing designs the cars that bear his name. He argued that they could solve any mathematical problem based on an algorithmic procedure. Turing machines will later be the base of modern computers.
  • 1937 – Dr. John V. Atanasoff together that Clifford Berry’s assistant built the first digital electronic computer. In 1973, he won the case to cancel the ENIAC patent, and Atanasoff received the merits of inventor of the first digital electronic computer.
  • 1943 – The British Colossus computer, the first fully programmable digital electronic computer built by Tommy Flowers, is used during World War II and manages to crack Lord Lorenz’s code.
  • 1945 – John von Neumann, a renowned mathematician and computer pioneer, talks about the ability of computers to store programs in the preliminary speech on the logical design of an electronic computing tool. Most modern computers are built on von Neumann architecture and implement the functional model of the Turing machine.
  • 1946 – ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer) is launched, designed and designed by John Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert of the University of Pennsylvania. ENIAC was the first general-purpose electronic computer that could be reprogrammed to solve a wide range of computing problems. Its construction took two and a half years, cost $500,000, weighed 30 tons and had 18,000 vacuum tubes.
  • 1948 – The computer called “Baby” was activated, the first computer with a stored program that used the binary system, in the Manchester University laboratory. Small Scale Experimental Machine was the official name and was the first computer to use von Neumann architecture and perform several operations.
  • 1951 – John Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert complete UNIVAC1, the first commercial and administrative computer produced in the United States. It was used by the United States Census Bureau for the population census. The fifth such computer was used by CBS television station in 1952 to successfully predict the outcome of the election using only 1% of the vote.
  • 1957 – Seymor Cray and William Norris founded Control Data (CDC). In the 1960s it produced the fastest computers in the world. In 1972 Seymor Cray, known as the “father of supercomputers”, left the CDC and founded his own company Cray Research, which still exists today as CRAY Inc.
  • 1958 – Bell Labs announces the first transistor, which becomes the basis of the electronic age. After this invention it becomes possible to make smaller computers.
  • 1961 – Stephen Russell, along with Martin Graetz and Wayne Wiitanen, invents the first video game. Spacewar! initially run on a PDP-1 computer, the first computer that allowed multiple users to exist at once.
  • 1963 – Douglas Engelbart and Bill English invent the mouse. Engelbart was also the leader of the team that invented the computer network and hypertext.
  • 1964 – Clays CDC 6600 becomes the fastest computer.
  • 1967 – Paul Baran designs a new communication network called ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network), which initially provides only three services: Remote login, file transfer protocol (FTP) and remote printing.
  • 1973 – Vinton Cerf and Robert Kahn create the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) to replace the NCP protocol previously used by ARPANET. This invention lays the foundations of the network architecture that allows computers to communicate with each other. Vinton Cerf and Robert Kahn also created the Internet Protocol (IC) 10 years later. Also in 1973 is created Xerox Alto, the first computer with graphical interface.
  • 1974 – Intel announces the creation of the 8008 processor, an 8-bit processor with 14-bit bus memory that can process 16KB of memory.
  • 1975 – Altair PC kit goes on sale. Altair 8800 was a based microcomputer that used the Intel 8080 CPU and was sold as a kit to build the computer at home. It was sold in thousands of copies, and its success proved that there was a high demand on the market outside universities and corporations. Altair 8800 was the first personal computer to be successfully sold.
  • 1976 – Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak build the Apple I computer in a rented garage, which was the starting point for the area that would soon become “Silicon Valley”.
  • 1977 – ARPA successfully tests TCP by connecting ARPANET with ALOHANET and SATNET, thus the Internet is born. Also in the same year Apple II was released, and Bill Gates and Paul Allen created the BASIC programming language for the Altair computer.
  • 1979 – Usenet is founded, followed by other networks.
  • 1980 – Computers begin to be widely used; Gates and Allen found Microsoft Corporation; Apple becomes the market leader.
  • 1981 – IBM enters the computer market.
  • 1983 – ARPA divides. One side connects with other networks, the other becomes MILnet for military purposes.
  • 1984 – Apple launches Macintosh using GUI (Graphical User Interface).
  • 1985 – Microsoft reacts by releasing its own GUI-based system.
  • 1989 – 80 000 computers connect to the internet; ARPAnet is disconnected; Tim Berners-Lee creates the World Wide Web.
  • 1991 – CERN makes the web available to people free of charge.
  • 1992 – The United States legalizes commercial activity on the Internet.
  • 1995 – Jeff Bezos launches Amazon; eBay.com, originally called AuctionWeb, is launched.
  • 1996 – The Internet reaches 100 million users; Nokia introduces a phone that had access to the internet and kicked off a revolution of “small portable computers”.
  • 1998 – PayPal, one of the first online payment systems, is launched. Google also launches the same year.
  • 1999 – Alibaba launches, which is now the largest online retail platform in China.
  • 2000 – Google launches GoogleAdwords, an ad service that allows companies to appear in Google searches by bidding keywords.

The advent of the Internet has kicked off a much more accelerated development of technology, which has been feeling stronger in recent years. The evolution of technology is closely linked to the spread of the Internet among the masses, as is the development it has brought. It’s much easier now to have access to information, so the development of new programming languages or products no longer has to happen exclusively in big companies or universities. You can access the information from home and order the parts you need from home.